Swan Mothers

Discovering Ourselves through Parenting

On Allowing 

Whether we allow it, or not
Life moves through us. 

Events happen. 

We are changed. 

When we cease resisting, we Allow,
and the flow of Life and Change THROUGH us,
is not impeded. 
It does not get stuck
in our muscles and bones. 
It moves. 

We shake and tremble. But we do not stop the flow, 
so it doesn’t stop us. 
This is why we cannot resist sleep.
Our KNOWINGNESS gets us out of the way for a while. 
And sleep is fine. 
So is conscious relaxation into life. 
So is conscious allowing. 
So is conscious accepting.
This is Loving What Is. 
This is Loving Our Selves. 
This is Love. 

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What’s Your Story and How Can You Evolve?

The Kabbalah describes angels as bundles of light, meaning intelligence and consciousness. Kabbalists believe that above every blade of grass is an angel crying “Grow! Grow!”  I believe that above the entire human race is one super-angel, crying “Evolve! Evolve!”

Steven Pressfield in The War of Art

In captivity, a baby elephant is tied to a post with a rope. No matter how he pulls, he cannot get free. When the elephant matures, putting a rope around his leg will keep him in place. Even though he could easily free himself, he does not. He has long-since resigned himself to the all-powerfulness of the rope.

This limiting belief about his own strength was programmed in his youth. It keeps the adult elephant tethered and docile.

People too are programmed early in life. We get so accustomed to living our stories that soon we don’t realize that we are now all grown up and can break that rope and live free.

What story are you telling ? What is the story teaching your child? Do you see autism as a curse? Can you see it as a gift?

Two Natures of Human Existance

Throughout history, people have noted two natures of human existence:

1.    Static

2.    Dynamic

1. History Repeats Itself

Static stories are based on predictable, repeating patterns in nature.  The static nature of our existence is symbolized by the circle or the ouroboros and illustrated in the changing seasons and the path of the Earth around the sun.

This is the pattern we see in our families.

“He’s just like my father,  jumping all over the place.  He just can’t sit still.”

“My family has a history of depression…”  or lying, or abandoning people, or being left-handed.

2. LifeSpiral2Evolution

Dynamic stories demonstrate progress based on evolution and learning. Human behavior changes dramatically when people encounter new information and experiences.

The dynamic nature of our existence is symbolized by arrow or a zooming rocket.

Predictable Cycles and Dramatic Leaps Occur Simultaneously

People who live close to the land survive by living in harmony with nature. Progress is not required.

Those in the modern world are preoccupied with progress.

“Unfortunately, the glamour of technology has eclipsed humanity’s connection with Nature, and the pursuit of technological advancement has contributed to disharmony, imbalance, and global crisis.” (Bruce Lipton and Steve Bhaerman in Spontaneous Evolutionp. 46.)

Lipton and Bhaerman say that uniting the principles of harmony and balance with the principles of technological evolution leads to a self-sustaining and thriving civilization symbolized by a universe-friendly spiral of evolution.

The spiral is also the symbol of the Wise Woman tradition.

A spiral always returns to itself, but never repeats. “Spirals remind us that live is movement, that each moment is unique, and that form is the essence of transformation.” (Susun Weed in Healing Wise, p. 11.)

Jump Off the Hamster Wheel and Evolve

Two hundred species a day die to support human existence. This matters because we are not separate from non-human life on Earth. We are part of it.

Since the time of the Fertile Crescent, we have been shifting away from balance and harmony. Our way of life is not sustainable.

Our children are experiencing life on Earth differently from us to show us that humanity’s way of life must change if we are to survive.

(To read much more about this, please see the work of Daniel Quinn.)

When you find yourself on a vicious cycle, for goodness sakes, stop peddling!
~ Swami Beyondananda (Spontaneous Evolution, p. 85)

What we must have – and nothing less – is a whole world full of people with changed minds.
~ Daniel Quinn (If They Give You Lined Paper Write Sideways, p. 180)

Just as the people of the Middle Ages could not have predicted the Renaissance, we cannot envision what the change that sustains the world will ultimately look like. We do know that we must return to living harmony with all creation.

The founding slogan of the United States is “out of many, one.” Let us watch our children. Let’s learn from them — and evolve.

You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
~ Khalil Gibran (The Prophet, On Children)

Everything will change when your desire to move on exceeds your desire to hold on.
~ Alan Cohen

References

Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future (and a Way to Get There from Here)
If They Give You Lined Paper, Write Sideways.
Healing Wise (Wise Woman Herbal Series)

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Valentine’s Day? Bah, Humbug!

It is February 13, and, yet again, I have not bought those silly, pre-printed Valentines. When my children were in elementary school, I did buy them. It was required.

I’d watch other children walk to school clutching red-heart-decorated shoe and boot boxes to collect the cards and treats. I  supervised reluctant card-signing.

Phony Baloney

Saint Valentine’s Day is a holiday observed on February 14 honoring one or more early Christian martyrs (none of whom are known for love or romance). It was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD, and was deleted from the General Roman Calendar in 1969 by Pope Paul VI.

The roots of St. Valentine’s Day may lie in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, which was celebrated February 13 – 15. Priests of the festival whipped bystanders.  Being touched by the whip was supposed to increase fertility in women.

What exactly are we celebrating?

I understand that contemporary Valentine’s celebrations in school are not about Christian saints or Roman holidays.  I understand (sort-of) that they are supposed to be fun. But what are we teaching? How do children who are socially inept, bullied, or shy experience this holiday?

Same, Same!  Cards for Everybody!

Children are required to give a card to each child in their class, so that no one feels left out. But kids know who likes them and who doesn’t. They know whom they like. They know when they are giving cards because they have to, versus giving cards they want to.

Teaching children to be kind and considerate to all of their classmates is a valuable lesson.  Teaching them to treat everyone the same, is not.

All children do not all wish to be treated the same. When sad, one child might like a hug, another to talk it out, a third would prefer to be left alone. Some children show their excitement with high-fives and shouts, others flick their fingers or flap their hands.

And a Little Red Dye #40

Almost half of my children’s classrooms have been peanut free. One was latex free. Our homeschool group avoided eggs because one family had life-threatening allergies. But artificial colors and flavors have been allowed in all classrooms. (Except at the Waldorf school. But that’s a separate, otherwise awful story.)

The UK banned artificial food dyes in 2008 after a study suggested they are related to hyperactive behavior in children. The UK demands that manufacturers use natural colors and flavors and US companies use natural products in the UK — while continuing to use artificial dyes in the products sold in the US.  (Learn more from Deborah Merlin, author of Victory over ADHD.)

My daughter was severely affected by red food coloring as a child.  Now, she avoids fake-red foods saying, “It makes me crazy.”

Bah, Humbug!

hum·bug

[huhm-buhg] interjection, noun
1.  something intended to delude or deceive.
4.   something devoid of sense or meaning; nonsense
  • I wonder what would happen if, in lieu of pre-printed, generic cards, we asked each child to think of one thing they admire about each classmate.
  • I wonder if the children would be surprised to discover that there really is something good about every person in the room, even in those children they don’t like.
  • I wonder how it would feel to receive 20-some pieces of paper that showed us the wonderfulness our classmates found in us.

What would you have the schools do in place of the humbug that is Valentine’s Day?

Note: 

I am now homeschooling my only remaining elementary school-aged child and am thrilled to announce that I did not buy cards or candy for Valentine’s Day this year.

 

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How can I follow my heart when all it wants to do is sleep?

This year, one of my (few!) intentions is to listen to my heart and to obey my inner wisdom.  I know, I know:  cliché, blasé. I’m doing it anyway. I’ve realized that all of “secret to happiness” books say the same thing because it really is that simple.

Yet only one month into the New Year, I’ve  encountered an obstacle.  My heart just wants to sleep. A lot.

I like to write at night and nap a bit during the day. Yesterday, I dropped into bed for my siesta late in the day and severely over-tired.  When I woke after an hour’s sleep, I did not want to get up.

I pulled the covers around me and asked myself, “What feels good right now?”  Yeah.  Ask a drowsy body that.  My body begged for 15 more minutes. I closed my eyes and drifted off to that lovely space between sleep and waking.  (I could stay there forever.)  When I woke for the second (or was it the third?  fourth?! time), through the fog and delight of that in-between place, I asked my heart again, “What feels good right now?” Again, I heard the yearning for continued sleep.  Then, through the haze, I perceived something else. A question:  “Which feels better? What do you want more? 30 minutes in la-la land or a strong healthy body?” (I had been so tired that I lay down before exercising.) “Which do you want more? 30 minutes of sleep — or to write a few more pages of the book?”

Ah!  The always-insightful heart-wisdom pulled me to half-awake.  It knew that even though I had to drag myself out of bed and even though I hated putting on my gym shoes, in a few months I would feel magnificent if I did this today — and tomorrow, and the day after.

When we ask our heart a question, listening intently will reveal the true response.

Sometimes, the first response comes from a place that is not our heart. My heart-wisdom does not have a whiny and pathetic voice.  It’s timbre is strong and, usually, gentle.

When I ask my heart a question and am not sure who or what responded, I ask:  “Who is speaking?”  Whether it is my ego or my heart, it must answer truthfully.

Listening to Heart-Wisdom in Parenting

All children, and particularly uniquely magnificent children, those who are autistic, ADHD, indigo or exceptionally challenging in some way, require a lot of real work from their parents.  We do the physical things:  prepare meals, launder clothing, read with them, drive them to lessons and appointments.  We are called upon to be patient and kind and loving — often when our children’s behavior does not automatically elicit gentle responses.  We do a hundred things every day to be the kind of parents we choose to be.

Each day, both in parenting and in self-care, we are presented with opportunities to live from our heart.  I often ask myself, “How can this be easy?” or “What feels good?” My first response is usually right on. However, sometimes what feels good in the moment – and usually only for that moment — would not make me feel good overall.

The energy release of slapping a defiant child might feel wonderful in the doing — particularly if you have been doing patient and loving for 30 minutes and the defiance shows no sign of yielding. But the second after the slap, the feeling of relief flips to shame and disappointment in self and to sadness for the child.  We wonder, “Why does it have to be so hard?”  (What happened to easy?)

Accessing Heart Wisdom

Here is a simple and effective way to calm yourself and access heart wisdom.

1.       Place your hand on your heart.

2.       Breathe into your heart for a count of six.

3.       Breathe out of your heart for a count of six.

4.       Continue until you feel centered and congruent with your heart.

If you are using this exercise for calming, stop here.  To access heart wisdom, continue.

5.       Ask your heart a question.  If you want to know something but aren’t sure how to phrase it, ask, “What do I need to know right now?”

6.       Listen.

Preventative Maintenance

Do the above exercise daily – or hourly – to keep yourself healthy mentally, emotionally and physically.

An Invitation

Won’t you join me in listening to your heart-wisdom?  A group of mothers and I gather by phone or Skype for a few weeks and learn to change ourselves.  Peace in our homes begins with us.

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Autism Awareness Flight (1)

This post is brought to you from 30,000 feet in the air, from Phoenix to Detroit. As I look at my fellow passengers, I see people napping, reading, chatting, working. In three hours, we will have traversed most of the country.  Yet no one seems astounded by the magic that we are experiencing, sitting in cushioned seats flying through the air. Just as few seem to perceive the magic that is present in today’s children.

Mountains and Red Earth

We’ve been in the air less than 20 minutes. Already the landscape has changed from mountains to green valleys to flat red Earth. In the distance, I see smoke as some part of the Earth transforms from wooded to charred. Below me, I see vast spans of almost-untouched Earth.  Narrow roads wind through the red plain, but there are no farms, few buildings. Newly alert after my time in Sedona, I take in the majesty of our Planet. And I wonder what I missed all those times I boarded a plane and fell asleep before the plane even took off. I wonder too what I missed while I was worrying about labels and growth charts and milestones. What miracles were unfolding while I was analyzing child development charts and evaluating information from books?

Gorges, Canyons and More Mountains

Out my airplane window, I see deep gouges in the Earth. There was a time when I would have wanted to know the name of these formations and what geological events were responsible for this dramatic design on the Earth. Now, I am content to gasp in wonder, to look. There was a time when I wanted a name for what was going on with my children. Now I am content to be dazzled by their brilliance without understanding every reason for how and why they are the way they are.

My Version of Autism Awareness

I don’t need to label what I see out my window. I don’t need to label children or people. My practice of autism awareness is to honor magnificently unique people in all their expressions.

Clouds

We are flying over a thick layer of clouds. Of course, there are countless creations of Nature and Humanity below, even though I do not see them. There is much talk in some parts of the autism world of children in shells, children to be recovered. This is not my perception. Perhaps there are simply clouds obstructing our view. Clouds have purpose, function, and beauty. Clouds move and change. Some of the clouds are in our eyes.

Farms between the Clouds

There is space between the clouds. The ground below me is divided into astonishingly precise squares. Every inch, as far as I can see has been conquered by humans. Some of my family’s food is probably grown here. For this I am grateful. Yet as I gaze at the grid below, I find myself overcome with sadness as I consider: What have we done? What are we doing? Is the world ours to conquer, to plow and poison and fertilize into submission? Are our children ours, to bend to our wills and our visions for them? This post has gotten long, so I will tell you about the remainder of this flight in Autism Awareness Flight (2).

 

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The Amazingness of Atypicalness in the Age of Half-Bloods, Wizards and Magical Creatures

All around the world, influenced by brilliant stories from gifted authors, children who thought they were different in a bad way are discovering that they are, in fact, different in a magnificent way.

  • Harry Potter thinks there is something wrong with him because his family forces him to live in the cupboard under the stairs.  Plus, he “makes things happen” and can talk to snakes.
  • Percy Jackson has profound ADHD and dyslexia.  He’s so “bad” that he has never been able to attend the same school two years in a row.
  • Elissa is being raised by an old woman as a servant in a castle and knows only that her mother is dead.  Yet, she is the daughter of a king and deeply connected to the Earth by her magical powers.
  • Aang is the last of his kind.  He is the only person left on the planet with the ability to bend air.

At the heart of every myth and legend lies a grain of truth.

Grain:  The smallest possible amount of anything, a small, hard seed – the essence, crux, heart, significance, or soul of the matter.

How do the stories of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Elissa and Aang reflect what is going on with our real, uniquely magnificent children?

It is neither surprising nor coincidence that there so many hugely popular books and movies about magical children have been produced in the past two decades.  This is the same time span during which magical children began appearing on Earth in large numbers.

Many of today’s children are called indigo, crysal or rainbow, autistic, ADHD, atypical or neurodivergent. They probably arrived via quite-ordinary birth.  But those who are paying attention see clearly that there is something different about our children.  Some want to call the differentness disorder or disability. I call it magic.

Learning from the Magical Heroes

Each of the characters mentioned above must find his or her own way for the old ways no longer work.  The premises have changed.  Their perceptions of themselves have been turned upside down.

Harry must shift his perspective from the Muggle to the Magical World.  Percy has to embrace his god-nature.  Elissa, a humble girl who knew her own mind even if she did not always choose to speak it, embraces her mission and taps into powers she had not realized she possessed.  Aang, at only 11 years old, must restore balance in the world.

As our heroes become attuned to their powers, they realize that with great power comes great responsibility.  This can be a heavy burden for a child or teenager to carry.  Our heroes waver, err, and complain, but they stay true to their calling.

In each of the books of the Harry Potter series, the Percy Jackson Series, the Phoenix Rising Trilogy (Elissa’s story) and the Avatar:  The Last Airbender Saga (Aang’s story), it is not only the hero who is magical.  Friends and enemies have magical powers too.  Our heroes do not possess unique gifts.  They possess gifts that are available to many.

As we notice our children’s gifts and talents, it is useful to consider:

  • What are my gifts and talents?
  • What can I do differently than I have always done it until now?
  • Am I working from an obscured premise?

Parenting the Heroes

In many fictional accounts, the heroes’ parents are conveniently missing. Harry’s parents are dead.  Percy’s mother, fully human, is not allowed at Camp Halfblood and his father, a god, does not have time for his half-human children.  Elissa’s mother is dead and her father is missing.  Aang’s parents have been dead for almost a century.

For those of us parenting magical children, there is no hint in these books of what the children might need from us.  We are left with a bit of insight into the children, but with no new information on what is required of us.

You must get used to the fact that there are many things in magic which are not and never will be explained. God decided to do certain things in a certain way and why He did this is a secret known only to Him.”  (Paulo Coelho in Brida.)

Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It

“May your path be one of peace in times of peace, and of combat in times of combat.  Never confuse one with the other.”  (Paulo Coelho in Brida.)

Again and again we are presented the lesson that there is nothing to do but carry on, taking one step and one second at a time, learning what we can when we can, being willing to walk in the dark.  Without a roadmap or a manual, we learn to listen and watch our children and our hearts.  We figure out a way to make it through each day.

I love listening to podcasts. Here’s a good one about being your true self.

 

In Autistic Hermione Thoughts, autistic blogger Alyssa of Yes, That Too, writes about reading Hermione as an autistic person.

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Magic for Muggles: Change the Way You See and Experience EVERYTHING

Sometimes, muggles get really lucky and stumble upon some magic.  Magic we can actually do.  Easily, consistently.

I had such an experience when I attended a Matrix Reimprinting seminar with Karl Dawson.  (The photo shows me, Karl and my friend Linda Friedman Jones at the seminar.)  Even though I have known about EFT for many years, even though I had finally figured out how to use if effectively, I had no idea about the amazingly transformative power of meridian  tapping.

What is Matrix Reimprinting?

Matrix Reimprinting is a new meridian tapping technique developed by EFT Master Karl Dawson.  Like EFT, Matrix Reimprinting often resolves long-standing emotional and physical issues.

By changing

  1. how you perceive old events

  2. how ingrained ideas shape your words and actions

Matrix Reimprinting can be used to create a life you love by creating better energy flow in your body

During a Matrix Reimprinting session, we tap on points that have been used in acupuncture for thousands of years.  Most of the points we use are at the ends of meridians.

Meridians are channels for energy flow just as blood vessels and arteries are channels for blood flow.  Emotional, chemical and physical trauma can disrupt the flow of energy in the meridians.  When the energy is obstructed, disease may result.

We can correct the flow of energy by stimulating the meridian points.  In EFT and Matrix Reimprinting, we do this by tapping on them.

How is Matrix Reimprinting different from EFT?

In conventional EFT, tapping on meridian end points is used to take the emotional intensity out of a past memory. When an issue is resolved with EFT, you are able to recall your most traumatic and stressful life memories without any emotional disruption or stress.  This is a useful healing strategy since most disease results from stress.

When an issue is resolved using Matrix Reimprinting, the memories associated with it are actually transformed.

During the Matrix session, the practitioner will guide you as you go into a past memory.

There, you may say and do what you wished you had said and done.  You will be shown how to bring in people or tools to support you in any way that you need.  You will recreate the recorded picture in your memory. This will transform your reflexive reactions in situations that were triggering an unwanted response.

But these things did happen!  No one can change that.

In Matrix work, we never deny that an event occurred.  We do not use distraction techniques. In fact, we recognize that the best way to transform a situation is to be fully present in it.  You will not relive the situation.  Matrix Reimprinting is a very gentle technique – easier to demonstrate than to explain.

Experience Matrix Magic

Matrix Reimprinting is an essential part of all of my group sessions.

Physically, mentally and emotionally healthy parents, family members and caregivers create a healthy life for autistic, ADHD, and other children with special needs.

Want to know much more about Matrix Reimprinting?  You can read all about it in Matrix Reimprinting Using EFT:  Rewrite Your Past, Transform Your Future by Karl Dawson and Sasha Allenby.

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A New Kind of Time Out

Most of us are rather enlightened parents these days.  When our children hit or scream or take another child’s toy, we don’t spank them.  We put them in time out.

There they sit, one minute for every year old, contemplating their transgressions and regrouping.  They take a break from out-of-control emotions and behaviors and call on inner resources and external support systems to return to a harmonious state.

As I walk through our modern world, watching adults running like hamsters on treadmills and children getting exercise from wii and x-box games, I wonder:

If children had more time out(side) and time off, would they still need time outs?

We live in an age of over-stimulation and overwhelm.  For all of our time-saving devices, we work more and sleep and relax less than humans of times past.

Children need time off from school and from schedules. They need to have time to do nothing and time to do whatever they want.

There are studies that validate the importance of play in the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills.  But we don’t need studies.  Be observing our children at play, we can see this natural development in action.

IMG_20110808_111243When my children were 13, 11 and 8, they often played in our yard with the neighbors (12 and 10). They figured out how to play kick-ball and other games in a way that was fair. They made adjustments for ages, special needs or extra skills (my middle child is autistic), number of children out playing that day.

“Sarah and I get only two outs and the boys get three,” my daughter informed me one day.  The next day, if three or four of them wanted to play, they found another solution.  No adults mediated or suggested anything.  When they are red-cheeked and sweaty, they reach for water and flop on the grass to rest.

Implementing the New Time Out

Amidst school or homeschool activities, sports, music, and dance schedules, and work obligations of parents, it can be challenging to find a way to, as my children say, chillax.  Here are some ideas to get started:

1.      Take a Mental Health Day away from school.

Let the kids stay home and do nothing once in a while.  This may keep them balanced and healthy so they don’t have to get sick to get a break.

2.      Schedule at least one day per week with no planned activities.

For us, this is Sunday.  We all look forward to it.

3.      Encourage free play.

Let the children fill their own time.  Save your boxes and paper towel rolls and see what happens, even if your children are in middle school or high school.

4.      Spend time outdoors that is not in organized sports.

Children love to make up their own games or explore.  You don’t have to do anything (beyond ensuring safety).  They will create worlds, climb trees, and make their own fun.

2805_70655739737_5197931_n5.      Be Silly.

I’m not good at silly, but the children love it.  So Daddy takes over and they giggle and scare each other and tell jokes.  If you need help, share your children with an adult who knows how to have fun.

6.      Go All the Way:  Take a Year Off

Consider how you can take a Really Big Time Out.  Take a vacation.  Homeschool.  Travel.  Enjoy.

Check out these families who did it.

One Year Off: Leaving It All Behind for a Round-the-World Journey with Our Children by David Elliot Cohen

The Family Sabbatical Handbook: The Budget Guide To Living Abroad With Your Family by Elisa Bernick

Benefits of the New Time Out

There is a Sufi tale that tells of a scholar being ferried by Nasrudin across a body of water.

“Have you learned mathematics?” he asks the ferry-man.

“No,” Nasrudin replies.

“Do you understand the sciences?” he continued.

“No,” Nasrudin answered.

Next, the scholar chided Nasrudin for his ungrammatical language, and, hearing that the boat-man never went to school exclaimed, “Half of your life has been wasted!”

Shortly afterwards, Nasrudin asked him: “Did you learn to swim?”

“No, I did not,” replied the scholar.

“Well, in this case it seems all your life has been wasted.  We are sinking,” said Nasrudin.

Reading, writing, and arithmetic are useful skills.  Proficiency in sports, music, and arts can bring much enjoyment.  But over-planning and over-scheduling may produce an ignorance of how to live.

After I post this, I will go and enjoy my own time out(side).  I hope that after your read, you will too.

Want to believe this is possible but don’t?  Join me starting January 2014 and shift to joyful thinking and easier living. More information coming soon.

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Lazy Parenting: Doing Things for Our Children

Daniel was working on his homework on morning while I fried eggs for breakfast.  Not understanding a math problem, he became frustrated.  As he gritted his teeth and whined, I turned around and quickly solved the equation for him.  “There you go!” I said turning back to the stove.  Instead of politely thanking me, he cried,“No, no!  Don’t do it for me.  Teach me!”

Later that day, I saw this exchange on Facebook:

Talisman Camps and Programs When is it appropriate and helpful to be a “helicopter parent” for your special needs child? When does it become unhelpful?

Natalia When our children are in distress, it is time to step in and support them. We don’t need to facilitate every event and interaction because they are not doing it the way we think is best.

Talisman Camps and Programs Natalia, we like how you say “Support” but do not equate that with “do for”

Ouch!  There was my post from just a few days before along with a compliment on not “doing for” our children when that is exactly what I had done that very morning.

How humbling.

I completely and totally believe that, as parents, we should support and facilitate our children’s endeavors, be they social interactions or math problems.  Yet, in my haste, I had taken the lazy way out. I did the problem for him instead of making a suggestion that may have given him the information he needed to do the problem himself.

I could have facilitated a moment of learning and confidence.  Instead, my actions said, “You’re too slow.  Here.  I’ll do it for you.  You probably couldn’t do it anyway.”

Reading the Talisman posts that evening, I realized:

When I am lazy or hurried, I “do for” rather than support.

In general, I have no objection to laziness.  I am a big fan of down time, reading, lounging around, and just being.

In this situation though, my laziness and doing what was easiest in the moment, did not serve my child.  Ultimately, it will not serve me.

We want our children to slow down and pay attentionI am committing to slowing down and paying attention myself.  I will pay attention to my children and how I can best serve them.

When my children are struggling, I will take a deep breath and ask:  “How can I help?”  I will listen to what they say and provide the support they need.  Instead of parenting by reflex, I will pay attention to the habits that are driving my actions and change them when needed.

It is infinitely more important to me that my children become confident and self-sufficient – including asking for what they need – than that they get perfect grades on homework assignments or act “right” according to some unspoken rules.

Allowing Success, Building Confidence

When children do things on their own, they learn:

  • I can do hard things.

  • I’m good at figuring stuff out.

  • Mama trusts me.  She believes I can do it.

When parents constantly jump in and do things for them, they learn:

  • I can’t do anything right.

  • Mom and Dad do everything better for me.

  • Mom never let’s me do anything.  She must think I’m stupid.

What are you teaching your children?  Will you join me in slowing down and paying attention?

We can learn from what we say and write and think.  We have all the wisdom we need inside ourselves.

I will be taking my own advice.  When my children are deeply frustrated, I will support them.  I will encourage, give a hint, teach.  I will still do things for them of course.  It is one of the ways I show my love.  But when I do for them, it will be from a place of love – not because it is more convenient for me.

Next time they are tying their shoes or clearing the table too slowly, I will let them be. Except, when I slip and interfere and forget or neglect to be the mother I want to be. But I already wrote about that.

Getting to This Place

By gathering with other mothers and supporting them as they support us, we move along in our parenting journey.  Support groups for mothers starting soon.

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Parenting Sloooooowwwwwlllly

I once read a blog post at Qoya is wise, wild and free.  (so are you).  Rochelle Schieck believes “…that through movement we remember.”  We remember our inner wisdom, express our wildness, and revel in our freedom.

I wanted some of what Rochelle was having.  I got up from my desk and followed her instructions to “walk across the room sloooooowwwwwlllly and enjoy yourself as you walk. . . This is an opportunity to say, “Hello, I love you” to your body.  Notice your inner dialogue…”

It was a nice little exercise.  But I’m practical and sensible, not wild and free.  Two minutes later, I was at my desk, back at work.

I Take My Qoya for a Walk

This morning, I was walking.  For exercise.  I moved quickly, purposefully.  As I was nearing the end of my return loop, it occurred to me to move sloooooowwwwwlllly.  I did.

I wondered, “When is the last time I walked the way I want to walk?” 

I’ve read about walking:  yoga walking, walking the T-Tapp way, other ways to walk I no longer recall. When I walk, I either walk without paying attention or the way some article or book or YouTube video suggests.  I don’t think:

  • How do I want to walk?
  • How do I want to move?
  • How do I want to feel?

I am generally so busy concentrating on my heart rate and stance and arm swinging that I do not enjoy myself, as I could.  My trying interferes with enjoying.

Waking Up to Parenting

It occurred to me that I used to parent this way: by the book. By some book.  Following the instructions of someone whom (I assumed) knew better than me.

I learned a lot from my reading.  I made many useful and necessary changes.  Now, I choose my own way to parent.  Usually.

I am confident with my own way of mothering.  I seldom consult books or ask for advice now.  I know how do to it, just as I know how to walk.

Still, like my walking, my parenting is too often unconscious.  I intend to stay conscious.  I plan to slow down and be present for my children. Then, schedules, activities and ideas of how things should be get in the way and I forget that I intended to slow down and pay attention.

Slow down. Pay attention. Let go of what I know, what I’ve read, what I assume. These steps to letting go seem to be my theme this week.  Do you see any trends in your parenting and in your life?

If you want to change ingrained patterns, the best way I know is with Matrix Reimprinting.  I will soon be offering free Group Tapping Sessions so that you may explore Matrix Reimprinting and the amazing changes it can bring to your life. If you’re interested in learning more, please leave a comment below.

New Week, New Opportunities

As we begin a new week, I will move sloooooowwwwwlllly.  I will check in and ask:

  • Is this the way I want to be moving?
  • Is this the way I want to be mothering?

I will pay attention as I walk, and as I interact with my children. I will let go of what I “know” to see what is presenting itself. I will practice listening and knowing.

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